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heat so bad it burned my wife's leg and Applecare says "RTM"

62563 Views 44 Replies Latest reply: May 19, 2006 9:42 PM by Yaeff RSS
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Voodoo Murphy Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
May 19, 2006 8:27 PM
I have a Macbook Pro, and my wife and I drove home from Disneyland yesterday. She had the MPB on her lap and was watching a movie from the hard drive. It got hot enough to actualy burn her leg.

http://img210.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img12579et.jpg

I call Applecare this morning, they facilitate a repair by sending me a box... and John (the Specialist) actually said "In the manual, it says that the device shouldn't be placed on your lap." Granted the guy apologized for it getting hot, or as he said "overly warm", but holy crap! To actually try and blame us for this unit getting hot enough to HURT someone is ridiculous.

I've got all the usual problems. The whine, the heat, the random rebooting..... but it's my fault that I didn't read the manual.

They say you should always use it on a flat surface, well I have an Antec cooler with 2 fans and it still runs hotter than ****.

I'll keep you guys updated
Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • Randall Jenkins Level 2 Level 2 (230 points)
    It is absolutely your fault if you don't read the manual, especially when the manual not to do something EXACTLY what you did. It's kind of funny how life wors sometimes, when people say something is going to happen, and it does, you get mad?
    15" MacBook Pro (Thanks InCase)/Quicksilver G4, Mac OS X (10.4)
  • Yaeff Calculating status...
    First, there's no need to be abusive.

    Second, regardless of what Apple's manual says, I think that you would agree that being told that you cannot use a portable machine in a portable fashion is nonsense. Imagine for a second that you bought a new car. You take it out for a spin on the freeway driving at a normal speed, the engine siezes, and your car is now--for all extents and purposes--dead, and you were nearly killed in the process. You complain to the manufacturer who is refusing to repair the car, and they tell you that it's entirely your fault for not reading the manual, which clearly states that you were not supposed to drive your car on the freeway. In fact, it's only rated for surface streets and dirt roads. How angry would you be?

    I know this is an exaggeration, but let's be honest here: if you get a product that doesn't work in the way that other similar products do, you're going to be upset. I can go out right now and buy a Sony, Dell, or Gateway notebook and use it on my lap without injury. Why shouldn't I expect to be able to do the same thing with comparable hardware from Apple?
    MacBook Pro - Currently Being Repaired, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • ksattic Calculating status...
    Sorry to hear about what happened. My fiancee and I both bought Macbook Pro 17" computers last week and at first I found it strange that hers was getting red hot while mine was running fairly cool.

    The problem was that she was playing a Shockwave game using Rosetta (PowerPC emulation), whilst I was using all universal apps. Your wife was playing a movie from the hard drive, but what program was she using? I think it is likely she was using a non-universal app that had to be run under Rosetta. This will cause the processor to work a lot harder, and the laptop to get hot. The solution is to download a universal or Intel video player, like the Intel version of VLC:

    http://www.videolan.org/mirror.php?mirror=http://downloads.videolan.org/pub/vide olan/&file=vlc/0.8.5/macosx/intel/vlc-0.8.5-intel.dmg

    I had a PC laptop before my Macbook, and it also had a dedicated graphics chip and fast processor. It would get just as hot on the bottom. My fiancee had a laptop without a dedicated graphics card and would actually get hotter when playing games. Unfortunately, laptops will always get burning hot in many situations, and the only solution is to reduce the complexity of what you are doing, or buy a lower power laptop, such as the miniature Sony Vaios.
    Macbook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.4.6), 100GB 7200rpm
  • cyberdust Calculating status...
    As part of my temperature test, I ran VLC to heat things up and it reached 111F on the external case surface.
    MacBook Pro 1.8GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • jry19 Calculating status...
    so sorry 2 hear what happened m8
    What do u plan to do?

    Honestly, How many people can say that they've actually read the manual and taken note of the heat? I know I didn't.
    Macbookpro
  • shuttleboi Calculating status...
    Just ignore Randall. He's an uneducated Apple apologist. He's the first in line to bend over and say "give me more, sir".
    Windows XP Pro
  • Henry Ma Calculating status...
    Yaeff, I agree with you. Something has to be done about this. They can't call this a "Laptop" if you can't use it on your lap top. They might as well call it a portable computer instead.

    You should call Apple again and have them escalate it to a supervisor and start complaining. Tell them you have pictures.
  • JayHacker Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    FYI, it's not called a laptop. It's called a notebook. This is because running a fast processor results in heat. It happens on all computers. Therefore - it's not referred to as a laptop anymore.
  • Nick A Level 4 Level 4 (1,465 points)
    They do make a point however to call them notebooks, not laptops.

    Nick
     MacBook Pro 15.4", Mac OS X (10.4.6), 2GB RAM, 100GB @ 7200RPM
  • Wayne Hyde Calculating status...
    Apple's support page for notebooks includes the following text:

    Apple: "For prolonged use, place your portable computer on a flat stable surface. Do not leave the bottom of the computer in contact with your lap or any surface of your body for extended periods. Prolonged contact with your body could cause discomfort and potentially a burn."

    Fine. I can live with the fact that the bottom may get very warm and prolonged contact will cause a burn. Unfortunately, "prolonged contact" for my MBP is about 3-4 seconds before I get 1st degree burns from the bottom.

    Apple: "The computer's internal fans turn on automatically within a temperature range that is selected to ensure proper operation of the computer."

    Unfortunately, this is not the case for my MBP and many others -- the fans simply don't spool up enough to keep the surfaces cool.

    Apple: "Apple portable computers comply with temperature limits set in national and international safety standards when used in accordance with the instructions in the user guide. Instructions include the advice not to place the computer on your lap for extended periods."

    Somehow I doubt that these temperature limits in safety standards include upper surface areas that are hot enough to cause burns within 3 seconds. I would not want a young child watching a movie or even using my MBP simply because if they did put their hands on the keyboard and touched the area above the F-keys, they would be burned almost immediately. IMHO, that is unacceptable.

    FYI, the area above the F-keys on my MBP 17 get to about 120F. The underside is quite a bit warmer than 125F (where my thermometer tops out).

    Apple: "There are third-party utilities that measure the temperature of a notebook. It is important to understand that these utilities are not measuring the external case temperature. The actual case temperature is much lower."

    Ok. My lower case temp exceeds 52C and my upper case temps reach 49C. While these temps are "much lower" than the CPU core temps of 80C, they still are not acceptable no matter what Apple claims. The next recommendation from Apple will be: "While we provide a built-in keyboard and touch-pad, these are only for use in Alaska and Siberia during the Winter. All others should connect USB keyboards and mice."

    MBP 17   Mac OS X (10.4.6)  
  • Jonathan Conaty Calculating status...
    I'm not trying to incite a fight, but for gods sakes man, regardless of what Apple says in fine print in a manual, the general perception of MacBooks/Powerbooks is that they are 'laptops'. If Apple wasn't able to make MacBooks cool enough to be used on your lap (which is a perfectly reasonable desire from a "portable computer" like this) then perhaps they should have modified the case to accomdate for more fans, or better heat distribution. It's pathetic that these things get as hot as they do. I've owned 3 Apple "laptops" in the past. A titanium and 2 of the more recent 15" G4 powerbooks and NONE of them got near as hot as my 17" does now...

    I know how you'll reply I'm sure which was 'Well, don't buy one if you can't deal with it' but as I pointed out earlier, it's a perfectly reasonable expectation to use this thing on your lap and not all consumers scour online forums to read about the NON STOP problems with all the Apple products that get released.

    Stop standing up for Apple like 'they told us so'. We should expect MORE from a company that prides itself on being miles ahead of it's competition. OSX is only going to be reason enough for so long...
    Powerbook G4
  • iCre8 Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    how dumb is your wife to keep the macbook pro on her lap and let it burn here leg?? i mean seriously... when you feel it's getting overly hot.. shouldn't you take that S@#$ off your lap? to me thats just common sense

    also, these aren't called laptops, they're called portables

    they do get hot.. i bought a targus chill pad and ran the SMC firmware update, my MBP runs tight now..

    currently sitting here with it on my lap... it gets warm, but when it gets TOO hot, i'll shut the lid or set it on a desk.. I'M NOT GONNA SIT THERE AND LET IT BURN MY LAP

    thats pretty jacked up, you let your wife keep the MBP on her legs just to let it burn her legs and then you take a picture? You must not value her safety/comfort. you are not a real man
    Macbook Pro 2.0ghz, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • Jonathan Conaty Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Actually, a portable is more like what you'll find here:

    http://www.dell.com/html/us/products/e3/index.html

    That's a portable computer. What we bought, regardless of whatever the **** apple wants to call it, is a laptop. It just is. It's a freaking laptop man. We SHOULDNT have to deal with this crap.
    Powerbook G4
  • Randall Jenkins Level 2 Level 2 (230 points)
    Apparantley Im one of the few educated people around here that actually READ a user guide. If I choose to use my portable on my lap, I won't complain about the heat, or I will find some kind of flat surface I can use to place upon my lap.

    I believe these things would not only make me educated, but also posessing the common sense a lot of people around here lately seem to lack.
    15" MacBook Pro (Thanks InCase)/Quicksilver G4, Mac OS X (10.4)
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